Europe's debt crisis has affected confidence in the region. Bloomberg reports:
European confidence in the economic outlook unexpectedly worsened in May and inflation accelerated less than economists forecast as the euro region’s debt crisis shook markets.
An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 16 euro nations fell to 98.4 from 100.6 in April, the European Commission in Brussels said today. Economists had forecast an unchanged reading, based on the median of 25 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Consumer-prices rose 1.6 percent in May from a year ago, a separate report showed, below the 1.7 percent rate forecast by economists. Inflation was 1.5 percent in April.
Elsewhere, Canadian economic growth accelerated in the first quarter. Again from Bloomberg:
Canada’s economy expanded at the fastest pace in a decade in the first quarter, led by consumer spending and manufacturing, increasing pressure on the country’s central bank to raise interest rates tomorrow.
Gross domestic product grew 6.1 percent at an annualized pace in the January-March period, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists predicted a 5.9 percent expansion, based on 20 predictions gathered by Bloomberg News. The Bank of Canada had projected a 5.8 percent gain...
Statistics Canada changed its estimate of fourth-quarter growth to 4.9 percent from an initially reported 5 percent.
The agency also reported separately today that factory prices increased 0.3 percent in April, while their raw material costs rose 1.7 percent. Economists predicted industrial prices would decline 0.2 percent and material costs would gain 1.4 percent.